Cross Words

We rarely exchange them but we do do them. Crosswords that is. It’s a gentle thing between us. I like the play with words. To play with words, to feel them on my tongue and in my head. Words come up that neither of us know the meaning of, or at least we think we do but are not certain. Picaresque was one from yesterday. A picaresque novel. Now, what’s that then? he say. I’ve just looked. It means an epic-style novel where the hero is a ‘rough dishonest type’. Well what-do-ya-know? And then I came up with pettifogger. What’s that then when it is at home. As my mother would’ve said. Google tells me it is a rather bad, tawdry lawyer who deals with petty cases. Petty presumably comes from ‘petit’. Lovely isn’t it. This kind of delving. Pantry did you know comes from the French for bread, pain.

A quiet morning. Few people were about. The three rough sleepers were tucked up under their duvets in the Prom shelter and a couple of strange girls wandered about, clearly unable to sleep. They have a wildness to their eyes. And I? I fretted as usual while trying to take in the firmament which was marvellous. Isn’t it? Two boys had lit a fire on South Beach and its smoke billowed. As did the cloth in the giant deckchair by the ‘ship’. It was a sail at sea.

Off to work soon. I am nervous. You just feel alienated – that’s all, he said. Yes. Spot on. How I love him for knowing. For knowing so much about me. And for wanting to. I am blessed.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.